The pilots of a cargo plane had to deal with an unusual emergency after a horse escaped from its cage mid-flight.
Everything was recorded when an Icelandic airline Air Atlanta Icelandic plane was flying at about 9,500 meters above sea level and they were alerted to the incident.
The horse reportedly got out of the cage during a flight on November 9 and began walking around the cargo plane.
The Boeing 747 had left New York for Belgium and had been traveling for half an hour; However, due to the emergency, he had to return to the airport from where he had departed.
The pilots of Flight 4592 contacted the control tower in Boston and reported the incident.
“We are a cargo plane with a live animal, a horse, loose on board,” one of the pilots reported to the air traffic controller.
Although the man said they had no problems continuing their journey, he requested to “return to New York” to assess the animal’s condition and ensure the safety of the flight.
A fatal outcome for the horse
The Air Atlanta plane had to perform a maneuver to return to New York and the pilots were forced to dump about 20 tons of fuel over the Atlantic.
This action is taken to ensure that the aircraft has a safe landing weight and to reduce the potential risks that could occur.
At that time, one of the pilots reported that the horse required veterinary attention at the time of landing because it had health problems.
“We have a horse in trouble,” the crew told the control tower.
The Network Aviation (operated by Air Atlanta Icelandic) Boeing B747-4H6BDSF Freighter (TF-AMM) returned to New York (JFK) from FL310 after the cockpit determined that one of the horses in the cargo hold had become free.
— FL360aero (@fl360aero) November 15, 2023
CNN reported that the horse suffered serious injuries and had to be euthanized, two sources close to the emergency confirmed.
The head of the company responsible for quarantining and exporting animals at John F. Kennedy International Airport. John Cuticelli assured that everything happened due to strong turbulence.
This would have frightened the horse and the animal would have eventually jumped out of its cage and become trapped between two barriers.
“The horse jumped and managed to get his two front legs over the (front) barrier and then got stuck.” It’s only the second time in all the years I’ve been doing this that something like this has happened to me. And we produce thousands of horses every year. “It was a very unfortunate event, but the horse was scared,” he said.
The plane was transporting 15 horses to an import center for these animals in the city of Liège.
It is not the first time that an incident of this kind involving animals on airplanes has been recorded. From a rat and an otter to a dangerous cobra, they have led to planes having to make emergency landings.
You might be interested in: